The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

Baby kidnapped from Pune hospital

Mumbai: New-born babies continue to be stolen from hospitals across Maharashtra, the latest theft being reported from Pune’s Sasoon General Hospital today, reports our correspondent.

A baby boy born to Rajshree T. Sonawane on Friday was stolen yesterday from the hospital’s neo-natal intensive care unit. After a futile, frenzied search for their baby, the Sonawanes filed an FIR accusing Sasoon hospital of negligence. The case has been filed under Section 363 (abduction) of the Indian Penal Code.

Another baby was stolen from the same hospital five months ago.

In January this year, Dr Jawahar Bijlani and his wife Nanki were arrested from their upmarket Warden Road clinic for running a huge child-lifting racket from their bogus “adoption centre’’. The Bijlanis, who were running a clinic-cum-nursing home, admitted to their involvement in the sale of an infant to a couple in Delhi for Rs 92,000. They bought the infant from her mother for Rs 30,000.

The Bijlanis also admitted to their involvement in a wider infant-selling racket.

Yesterday’s theft has put the state government in a spot. Health minister Digvijay Khanvilkar could not explain the spurt in baby thefts, but said the guilty would soon be caught.

Ex-minister clears DNA test

New Delhi (PTI): The DNA test of a blood sample of former Uttaranchal revenue minister Harak Singh Rawat, who had to resign after an Assamese woman accused him of rape, has failed to match with that of the child born after the alleged incident.

Highly-placed CBI sources confirmed that the DNA of the former minister did not match with that of the child the complainant gave birth to on June 15.

The CBI had registered a case of rape against Rawat after conducting a preliminary probe into allegations made by the woman, leading to his resignation from the state cabinet. According to the FIR lodged by the bureau, the victim told investigators that the minister had promised her a job and then forced her into having a relationship with him.

The woman delivered the baby at a government hospital, creating an uproar in the state Assembly with the Opposition BJP demanding a thorough probe into the case.

The CBI began investigations into the case on July 12 and questioned the former minister, other officials, Rawat’s domestic servants and the victim.

Twin charges on Sobhraj

Kathmandu (Agencies): Charles Sobhraj, 1970s’ master criminal known variously as “The Serpent” and the “Bikini Killer”, was on Monday charged by prosecutors in Nepal with the murder of two backpackers in 1975.

Officials in the district court said a preliminary hearing would determine whether there is sufficient evidence to go to trial.

Sobhraj is suspected in the unsolved murders of Connie Jo Bronzich of Santa Cruz, California, and Laurent Ormond Carrierre of Manitoba, Canada, whose charred bodies were found on the capital’s outskirts.

Advocate shot

Patna (PTI): A senior advocate of Patna High Court was shot dead by unidentified assailants near Himgiri Apartments here on Monday. Police said two persons on a motorcycle fired at Pramod Kumar from point-blank range when he was going to court from his residence.

Student suicide

Mumbai (PTI): A 21-year-old student committed suicide by hanging in the college hostel. Police said Pranali Dhanvijay, a first-year student of Topiwala National Medical College, was depressed for failing to get admission to the college last year.

SBI ATM looted

Hyderabad (PTI): More than Rs 4 lakh was robbed from an automatic teller machine kiosk of State Bank of India near old MLA quarters in Hyderaguda, police said. The burglars broke open the combination lock of the ATM on Sunday and made away with Rs 4.56 lakh, they said. They entered the kiosk through a ventilation duct and looted the ATM after disconnecting the alarm.

Pension denied

Jaito (PTI): An ex-serviceman, denied pension even after 30 years of retirement, on Monday threatened to return all the three Raksha Medals bestowed on him by the Centre. Bharpur Singh was honoured with the medals for bravery during the Indo-China and India-Pakistan wars. But for the last 30 years, he has been struggling to get his monthly pension. “I am pained. I don’t know for what fault of mine they are withholding my pension. There is nothing on my report which prevents them from giving me pension,” Singh said.


A panther, the seventh feline to be trapped at the Indian Institute of Technology in Powai in the last one year, has been set free in the wild. Sources said the leopard was trapped by a guard behind Hostel No. 4, which is adjacent to Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

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